Is your gas furnace not switching on or warming the air as expected? If yes, you need to understand that many different issues might have led to this problem. A properly functioning gas furnace is crucial because it will ensure that your central heating system warms up the air in your home keeping you and your loved ones warm through the chilly winter season. Most furnaces, gas ones included, will last approximately 15 to 20 years. So if yours is way younger than this, there’s a good chance you can get it up and running again.
Ever found yourself asking this question, “my gas furnace isn’t working, what do I do?” Our quick response is this: you should troubleshoot to check the cause of the problem, or if you cannot do this, you need to contact a certified HVAC contractor. You cannot troubleshoot the problem if you do not have a basic understanding of how your gas furnace works. So, let us look at how the gas furnace works.
How Your Gas Furnace Works (Or Should Be Working!)
Featured image credit: Carolina K. Smith MD/Shutterstock
Your gas furnace, commonly referred to as a forced-air furnace, works by heating the air coming into your home through a heating cycle that follows the following sequence:
- The burner ignites propane or natural gas
- The flames from the burner heat up a metal heat exchanger
- Heat is transferred from the metal heat exchanger to the incoming air
- The warm air is forced into the ductwork by the furnace blower causing the warm air to circulate through your home
- As the warm air flows and fills your home, colder air is displaced and pushed into the furnace for heating.
A properly functioning gas furnace will work following the five steps discussed above. For your furnace to serve you for long, you need to ensure that it is serviced at least once or twice a year. This will ensure that you get uninterrupted service during the cold winter season.
10 Most Common Furnace Problems
Featured image credit: Globalphotogroup/Shutterstock
In this guide, we discuss the top ten common furnace problems with matching suggestions on how these issues can be resolved. If they cannot be resolved, you may have to look at other options like buying a new gas furnace. These problems include:
- Lack of maintenance
- Wear and tear
- Dirty filters
- Ignition problems
- The furnace does not heat at all
- Malfunctioned thermostat
- The furnace does not heat enough
- Blower runs continuously
- Frequent cycling
- The furnace is too noisy
The list above is not extensive, but at least we have tried to capture some of the most common problems. By knowing these common problems, we believe that you, as the homeowner, can take proactive measures aimed at preventing most, if not all of them. Let us now delve deeper and discuss each of these furnace problems:
1. Lack of routine maintenance
As stated earlier, regular maintenance is the key to ensuring that your gas furnace operates properly throughout the year. We suggest that you consider servicing your furnace at least one to two times in a year. During this routine maintenance, your HVAC repair technician might discover a problem with your heating system and suggest ways of dealing with it before it worsens. Addressing a problem with your central heating system will save you money.
2. Dirty or clogged filters
Filters help in purifying the air coming into your home. They help in keeping dirt out, thereby ensuring that the air circulating in your house is clean and free of impurities. Since the filters bar dirt and other pollutants from getting into your home, it is essential that you clean the filters regularly to prevent them from clogging. Clogged air filters can damage the filter switch affecting the status of the HVAC system.
3. Wear and tear
Equipment and appliances often suffer from wear and tear after prolonged work. If your heating repair contractor finds that your gas furnace or some of its components are worn out, ask for recommendations or suggestions on how to replace them.
4. Ignition problems
Older gas furnaces have pilot lights while newer versions have electric ignition. The pilot or electric ignition might be the cause of your furnace problems. If the pilot light fails to stay lit, this may be a result of issues such as a clogged pilot orifice, a loose or faulty thermocouple, a defective safety cutoff valve, or the pilot’s flame may have been set too low. For gas furnaces with electric ignition, the ignition problem may present issues where the furnace keeps shutting off after a short while. This can be resolved by powering off the unit then switching the power on again; a move that will reset the ignition control module.
5. The furnace does not heat at all
If you discover that your furnace does not heat at all, it is crucial for you to consult with your local HVAC repair technician. Since heating is the primary function of your gas furnace, you need to have this problem looked into by a competent repair technician. A furnace that is not heating may be having problems with its power, gas, pilot light, or thermostat setting.
6. The furnace does not heat enough
In some cases, you might realize that the furnace is functioning properly, but the heat generated is not sufficient to heat up the air in your home. When this happens, it is essential for you to check with your technician whether the HVAC unit you have is the right size for your home. You also need to have the current unit checked if it has clogged filters, which might also cause this problem.
7. Malfunctioning thermostat
The thermostat helps in regulating the heating cycle. When the home is sufficiently heated, the thermostat is supposed to tell the control board inside the furnace to stop the heating cycle. When the thermostat malfunctions, the air inside your home can be heated to an uncomfortable level. You need to contact your heating repair technician to correct this as soon as possible.
8. Blower not working
The blower functions by directing the air coming from return ducts to go into the hot heat exchanger. When you discover that the blower is not working on the gas furnace, you need to contact a professional to replace it for you.
9. Frequent cycling
A gas furnace that is frequently cycling from “On” and “Off” modes is indicative that the furnace has a problem with its thermostat or the air filters may be clogged. Your repair technician should be able to troubleshoot the problem and have it fixed in no time.
10. A noisy furnace
A noisy gas furnace that rumbles, rattles, or squeaks needs to be checked by a professional HVAC contractor. Such noises are not normal and may indicate a mechanical problem with your furnace.
Consult a Certified HVAC Technician if All Else Fails
Featured image credit: Globalphotogroup/Shutterstock
Most of the problems highlighted above need the attention of a qualified HVAC technician who will be able to diagnose the problem and repair it. Don’t risk worsening the problem or exposing yourself or your loved ones to gas or combustion-related hazards by trying to fix some of these complex problems by yourself. It is always a good idea to take adequate precautions and contact a trained furnace repair expert to examine your unit and suggest how the issue should be handled.
See also: The Arizona Gas Furnace Buyer’s Guide
If your furnace presents any of the problems discussed above, you can always count on us to resolve the issue for you. At Howard Air, we are committed to ensuring that all our customers get the best heating and air conditioning services. Our technicians are trained, experienced, and certified to handle any furnace related problems. Contact us today at (602) 953-2766 to schedule a consultation with our team of experts.
Featured image credit: Asier Romero/Shutterstock